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Publication date: 6 May 2014

Sadiat Oyenike Babalola and Bolanle Aishat Akinwande

It is very pertinent to determine the nutritional value of indigenous leafy-vegetables to establish their potentials in ensuring adequate nutrition and food security. One of the…

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Abstract

Purpose

It is very pertinent to determine the nutritional value of indigenous leafy-vegetables to establish their potentials in ensuring adequate nutrition and food security. One of the ways to promote fresh produce is through nutritional information. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Simultaneous multi-element analysis of eight indigenous (with underutilized) vegetables commonly found in the Southwest Nigeria was done by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy. Wild-grown vegetables were harvested from the National Horticultural Research Institute orchard, in Southwest Nigeria. The contents of investigated quantity minerals as well as trace and heavy metals were determined.

Findings

In all the vegetables, potassium was discovered as the most abundant quantity mineral present with range of 4.364 mg/g in Vernonia amygdalina to 78.218 mg/g in Senecio biafrae (an underutilized vegetable). This was followed by calcium ranging from 3.351 mg/g (Vernonia amygdalina) to 9.914 mg/g (Solanum macrocarpon). Lead had the least content among the heavy metals with range of value from below the detection limit of the method used to 0.05 μg/g.

Practical implications

The results obtained for the mineral profile provide useful information that could sensitize the people on the need for their consumption. This can be a good opportunity to enhance micronutrient supply of the diet of low-income earners which form majority of the society.

Originality/value

Findings from this study indicate that the indigenous vegetables that are not formally cultivated could be important in improving micronutrient deficiency of low-income earners.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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